Oil deposits and scales resulting from hard water residue when the metal in the machine meets with minerals like calcium and magnesium may lead to clogging of your espresso machine and insufficiency of the work going on inside it.
In return, your bills will be high because of the build-up, and your coffee will start tasting a little bit bitter.
If you notice this taste in your coffee recently, it is a sign that your machine needs cleaning and that the build-up scales are mixing with your drink- which is not healthy as well.
Below are the right ways of how you should maintain your coffee, making a friend, and how to clean an espresso machine properly to the best.
Espresso Machine Cleaning Procedure
Your machine needs to be cleaned regularly, and daily maintenance is essential, mainly if it is used regularly.
Coffee produces oils that when settled to the bottom, could lead to more corrosiveness of the machine, even if the machine is left unused.
That mentioned it is necessary to clean and maintain the machine daily and regularly from the onset of the first-ever coffee brew, and so on.
Regular maintenance of the espresso machine
Baking soda is the overall best product in cleaning some outside parts of your machines- it is aggressive and will filter out the dirt from the surface.
Add two tablespoons of baking soda in hot water, (for it does not dissolve easily in water-to increase the baking soda’s kinetic energy) and scrub the outer part of the machine.
You may also use coffee detergent to clean up the oil in previous coffee from the machine and use clean water on the shower screens and filter baskets to filter the dirt out and proceed with different towels to wipe out the parts to avoid cross-examination possibilities.
Soak the filter baskets, steam wands, and shower screens in hot water and solutions of coffee detergent.
Using separate towels, wipe them out after a thorough scrub. This process should be done and repeated after every use.
Should be done daily on water, and if you choose to clean weekly, do with coffee detergents.
It is good for machines with three-way valves; this maintenance process eliminates contamination from the dispensed and brewing valves.
Blow the milk and water from the steam wands after you brew your coffee. This ensures that the oils in the milk do not go down to the boiler, which might lead to regular unwanted smell from your expresso to coffee when you use the machine the next time.
Deep Cleaning an Espresso Machine
The machine’s outer part, filter baskets, and steam wands plus the metallic part need thorough cleaning on their own.
The outside part should be done with baking soda and pinches of lemon juice to disinfect the area, clean it, and ensure high healthy maintenance for the machine. The products have no smell and are cheap to obtain.
If you live in places where hard water is found and used regularly, you might need to clean the espresso machine once per month.
If you are not a regular user and do not use your machine as much, you may try your machine once per year but with regular maintenance to avoid smell and oil clogs and build up.
Descaling an Espresso Machine
On the regular use of your machine, you may notice that some white chalky like materials on the surfaces of the metal areas on your machine.
This affects the taste of your coffee, and if noticeable, you must clean it.
The process of cleaning out the scales from the inside of your machine is what is known as descaling.
It helps in eliminating the clogged scale matter and eventually cuts down your electricity bill.
If you do this regularly, you will notice that you still get the best of the coffee from your machine and your machine will be in the perfect condition that you bought it.
Listed below are ways to descaling an espresso machine
How to Clean an Espresso Machine With Citric Acid
Worry about how to clean an espresso machine with Citric acid? Citric acid is a natural element it produces from citrus fruits like orange and lemon.
Citric acid is easy to use, affordable, has no odor, no chemical residue, and is natural to use.
It is recommended you use the concentrated powered version of Citric acid, which is deemed effective and gives easier work.
What to use
One litre of room temperature water
Two tablespoons of powdered citric acid
Mix the Citric acid and the water thoroughly in a bowl.
Pour the mixture on the water reservoir and run water on the machine till the boiler fills up with the concentrated mixture.
On the steam wand, run water through, a descaling solution will come out.
Repeat the process until the descaling colour from the machine stops.
Caution: if your machine has an aluminium boiler- clean with a different solution, for it can react with the citric solution.
Clean with Vinegar
It is deemed as the best of the cleaning agents; this solution gives the best of cleaning out the scales from your machine.
It is strong enough and affordable still and can be used to clean both interior and exterior of the machine.
What You Need;
Add the vinegar to the machine through the water reservoir to the amount up to six expresso, include your steam wand too.
In return, the descaling water comes out in brown color, proving that the scales are out.
Reassemble and Test Your Espresso Machine
After the citric acid and vinegar descaling, make sure you pour enough water and flush out the water repeating the same process over and over till there is no more solution coming out if your machine and that your machine is clean with no more scales.
Citric acid will take fewer refills and flushing out if water that vinegar since vinegar has a strong smell.
However, vinegar is worth the struggle due to its efficiency, so the choice is yours.
The Bottom Line
Descaling and high maintenance of your machine are necessary for your coffee brewing, the functionality of your machine, and cuts the costs of electricity when the scales are not available.
Regularly the oils from the coffee and milk the bottom of the machine and cleaning every day would help keep things less smelly.
Water also reacts with the metallic parts of the machine, the more the water flow, the more the descaling. Figure out how regular you have to clean it up and follow the above methods.